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Where do you draw the line between fashion and fine jewelry?

What defines fine jewelry?

  • Materials (e.g. natural stones and gold/platinum)

    Votes: 43 78.2%
  • Craftsmanship (e.g. not mass produced, limited availability, custom)

    Votes: 24 43.6%
  • Other?

    Votes: 3 5.5%

  • Total voters
    55

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
2,506
Just curious...someone mentioned a while back how they see something like an august vintage moissy in a custom setting as fine jewelry. I get that. At the same time I'm seeing high-end designers mix it up with materials...more lab and semi-precious stones and non-precious metals (aluminum, titanium)...and often priced like their traditional counterparts. I also feel like I see more high-end costume jewelry...like even Louis Vuitton makes resin rings...

I'm still figuring out where I come down on it myself...I like the new materials but I do have a bias for the precious stones and metals. I think the artistry has to be special to elevate a non-traditional piece for me. Or maybe it has to mix old and new.

Would love to hear some opinions....are the dividing lines less or more clear cut than they used to be and where do you draw it?
 

elle_71125

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
4,755
For me, craftsmanship is the most important thing. I have both colored, earth mined, gemstones and lab gems and I love them both. I have no problem paying for a custom ring on a lab emerald with moissy sides because I know I’m going to love it and wear it frequently. In fact, I wear my AVC moissy ring from DK all the time. It’s gorgeous and makes me very happy. I have plenty of rings where the setting costs significantly more than the gemstone in it. In fact, my small tsavorite ring from DK is in a setting that cost probably 3 times more than the stone did. So for me, it doesn’t matter if the stone is inexpensive so long as I love the ring as a whole.

There’s a nice side benefit to higher end settings for lab gems too. You can wear them to places you wouldn’t normally wear your CS gemstones. Like Disney World, or a water park, or a tropical vacation.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jun 8, 2008
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41,964
I guess I am a purist in that while I appreciate fine craftsmanship (it is necessary but) it is not sufficient IMO. One must have the fine craftsmanship and the fine materials ie diamonds, gemstones, gold/platinum etc. I recently bought gorgeous faux diamond OEC dangles in white gold. They are gorgeous but for sure they are (IMO) fashion jewelry as they are not real diamonds. That does not make them less than beautiful but I do not consider them fine jewelry.

So what is necessary IMO for something to be "Fine" Jewelry is

1.Craftsmanship
and
2. Materials

Must have both criteria to fit my definition.
 

MeowMeow

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
1,293
For me it's a bit of both. Craftsmanship mostly but also partly materials. I am one with 0 issue placing lab stones in gorgeous settings. Of course my preference will always be natural stones. But if a lab stone is precision cut I don't mind setting it in a gorgeous setting in platinum since it's the only metal my skin likes.
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 26, 2007
Messages
4,647
For me, the metals must be precious, and solid.
Gold, silver, platinum.
No brass, no plate, and not vermeil, either.
I think stones can vary, as some antiques have glass or lab stones, which I think is acceptable.
 

strawrose

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 24, 2014
Messages
1,038
For me, it’s the materials, although not as high as what is considered fine jewelry. If it’s a sterling silver and tourmaline piece, but made by an award winning artist, I consider it fine jewelry.

I used to wonder, “what is the point of spending 300 dollars on Chanel costume jewelry?” Then, I realized both fine jewelry and Chanel costume jewelry are really dependent on demand, and not dependent on need. (The resale value on Chanel is decent.)
 
Last edited:

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
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2,506
For me, craftsmanship is the most important thing. I have both colored, earth mined, gemstones and lab gems and I love them both. I have no problem paying for a custom ring on a lab emerald with moissy sides because I know I’m going to love it and wear it frequently. In fact, I wear my AVC moissy ring from DK all the time. It’s gorgeous and makes me very happy. I have plenty of rings where the setting costs significantly more than the gemstone in it. In fact, my small tsavorite ring from DK is in a setting that cost probably 3 times more than the stone did. So for me, it doesn’t matter if the stone is inexpensive so long as I love the ring as a whole.

There’s a nice side benefit to higher end settings for lab gems too. You can wear them to places you wouldn’t normally wear your CS gemstones. Like Disney World, or a water park, or a tropical vacation.
good point but i think i'd be just as worried at a tropical vacation etc. with a "fancy lab ring" let's call it ;)2

I guess I am a purist in that while I appreciate fine craftsmanship (it is necessary but) it is not sufficient IMO. One must have the fine craftsmanship and the fine materials ie diamonds, gemstones, gold/platinum etc. I recently bought gorgeous faux diamond OEC dangles in white gold. They are gorgeous but for sure they are (IMO) fashion jewelry as they are not real diamonds. That does not make them less than beautiful but I do not consider them fine jewelry.

So what is necessary IMO for something to be "Fine" Jewelry is

1.Craftsmanship
and
2. Materials

Must have both criteria to fit my definition.
that's how i lean too but i'm seeing more "high jewelry" or "art jewelry" in material like anodized aluminum + diamonds etc. AND some of those seem like driven by creative possibilities while others seem like they're just looking for higher margins.

For me it's a bit of both. Craftsmanship mostly but also partly materials. I am one with 0 issue placing lab stones in gorgeous settings. Of course my preference will always be natural stones. But if a lab stone is precision cut I don't mind setting it in a gorgeous setting in platinum since it's the only metal my skin likes.
agreed but i struggle with it a bit with the idea of lab stone offered for as much or more as an equivalent natural stone, which i see sometimes....like why use a lab opal when there are pretty but cost-effective opals available and the item is still hundreds or thousands?

For me, the metals must be precious, and solid.
Gold, silver, platinum.
No brass, no plate, and not vermeil, either.
I think stones can vary, as some antiques have glass or lab stones, which I think is acceptable.
i hope silver makes a comeback in fine jewelry, i think it's perceived as fashion or "casual" (i'm guilty of this too) but i really like it combined with gold and also when it's blackened. and i'd honestly rather have gold-filled than vermeil for fashion jewelry...gold plate just doesn't last long on me....

For me, it’s the materials, although not as high as what is considered fine jewelry. If it’s a sterling silver and tourmaline piece, but made by an award winning artist, I consider it fine jewelry.

I used to wonder, “what is the point of spending 300 dollars on Chanel costume jewelry?” Then, I realized both fine jewelry and Chanel costume jewelry are really dependent on demand, and not dependent on need. (The resale value on Chanel is decent.)
yeah i think artistry and intention behind the design make a difference. good point on resale too, someone once told me the value is not in how much you pay for an object but how much you can sell it for. wise words. :twisted2:
 

MeowMeow

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
1,293
@bludiva Well sure. I'm gunna make up numbers here. In no way are these accurate! Let's pretend we have a precision cut blue sapphire for 1k and an exactly equivalent blue lab sapphire. Just stones. I am not going to pay 1k for the lab sapphire. It's not a natural sapphire. I would probably pay 250 to 500 for it but no more and I only allow the higher price because its paying for the time of the cutter to allow a little profit.
The setting only is where I would pay for quality but partly because I like super hign quality. Better to have only a few excellent pieces than many costume or stock ones. Especially since I have metal allergies. I can't wear the cheap stuff like I used to be able to.
 

cmd2014

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
2,540
I think of fine jewelry as being real (natural, not synthetic) stones (semi precious is fine) in solid, precious metal findings (10k gold and up or platinum). Silver jewelry is not fine jewelry IMO. Nor is expensive designer stuff. Price matters less than materials for me.
 

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
2,506
For example, I would consider this fine jewelry:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn7eHJzBq6C/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1s8o6nt85sps

While I consider overpriced zales 14k jewelry not fine jewelry.
Yep. Those kinetic pendants are something else! Agreed on the zales/kays of the world. I like diamonds direct, i think they're a notch above. But most of the shops I've visited have a limited selection of trite offerings. That's what led me to the PS rabbithole to begin with. :lol:
 

MamaBee

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
8,447
I wear everything except for CZ and I would wear it if I really liked it for a special outfit. I consider fine jewelry to be the quality metals and stones to be natural and placed into the same setting. I don’t think some natural diamonds and natural metals to be high quality to be considered fine jewelry either. The diamonds you buy at Walmart..although real are not fine diamonds set in a quality setting..so I don’t think they are fine jewelry. I’ve never liked costume jewelry on me. I love it on other people but it just doesn’t look right on me...I like the variety though so will buy alternative stones nice enough to be put into at least 14k gold settings...but usually 18k white gold. I don’t think they’re costume jewelry but NICE jewelry that I can wear for a change from my fine jewelry. I get bored so need that variety..
 

sd_flp

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 24, 2019
Messages
554
To me, fine jewelry is natural gemstones and precious metals. Someone mentioned Chanel, but even they have their own fine jewelry line and is distinguishable from their costume jewelry. I think Louis Vuitton makes fine jewelry, too? I don’t know as I haven’t bought LV in years, but I think they make watches.

Having said that, I’d hate to view my moissanites as costume jewelry. I know they’re stimulants but I like to set them in precious metals, and I don’t plan on replacing my current pieces with lab diamonds, which I also plan on purchasing once the prices go down.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
41,964
Question. I was brought up thinking anything less than 14K gold was not acceptable. And of course 18K is finer than 14K but it does depend on what one is using it for re durability issues etc.
What do you think? What K gold is acceptable for "Fine" jewelry?

Just googled it because I did not know the stats and here is the info re amounts of gold.

http://invoguejewelry.blogspot.com/2014/10/whats-percentage-of-gold-in-14k-10k-18k.html

What's the Percentage of Gold in 14k? 10k? 18k?

Gold purity is defined either in Karats or fineness. One Karat is equal to 1/24th part of fine gold, so 24k Gold is pure gold. So to find the percentage of gold in 10k gold, you would divide 10 by 24 (10/24) and multiply by 100 to get the percentage:

  • 10k = 10/24 or 10 ÷ 24 = .416 or 41.6% gold
  • 12k = 12/24 or 12 ÷ 24 = .500 or 50% gold
  • 14k = 14/24 or 14 ÷ 24 = .583 or 58.3% gold
  • 18k = 18/24 or 18 ÷ 24 = .750 or 75% gold
  • 24k = 24/24 or 24 ÷ 24 = 1.00 or 100% gold
 

MeowMeow

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
1,293
Question. I was brought up thinking anything less than 14K gold was not acceptable. And of course 18K is finer than 14K but it does depend on what one is using it for re durability issues etc.
What do you think? What K gold is acceptable for "Fine" jewelry?

Just googled it because I did not know the stats and here is the info re amounts of gold.

http://invoguejewelry.blogspot.com/2014/10/whats-percentage-of-gold-in-14k-10k-18k.html
For me? 14k. I have worn 10k but I preferred 14k or above when I was still wearing gold. At the same time I wouldn't consider 10k to be costume either. Just not "fine jewellery"
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
41,964
For me? 14k. I have worn 10k but I preferred 14k or above when I was still wearing gold. At the same time I wouldn't consider 10k to be costume either. Just not "fine jewellery"
This is my thought process as well. My parents always said anything less than 14K is not acceptable for fine jewelry. But of course I trust PSers and was curious to hear their thoughts as well.
 

MamaBee

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
8,447
Question. I was brought up thinking anything less than 14K gold was not acceptable. And of course 18K is finer than 14K but it does depend on what one is using it for re durability issues etc.
What do you think? What K gold is acceptable for "Fine" jewelry?

Just googled it because I did not know the stats and here is the info re amounts of gold.

http://invoguejewelry.blogspot.com/2014/10/whats-percentage-of-gold-in-14k-10k-18k.html
To me...I think truly fine jewelry would be 18k or platinum....BUT if you have a beautiful diamond you want to wear everyday..sleep with it on..never take it off..14k is much sturdier..The higher carat..the softer it becomes. 24k is just too soft to wear..I just know that when I visit really nice jewelry stores they are either 18k or platinum..but I wouldn’t have a problem setting my diamond in 14k if it was going to get abuse or was hard on my jewelry..I actually see a lot of vintage diamond jewelry that are gorgeous..mainly bands..that are 14k. 10k is fine but I wouldn’t consider it fine jewelry...It’s a workhorse..and will keep your jewelry safe like a tank..and it’s still pretty..
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jun 8, 2008
Messages
41,964
To me...I think truly fine jewelry would be 18k or platinum....BUT if you have a beautiful diamond you want to wear everyday..sleep with it on..never take it off..14k is much sturdier..The higher carat..the softer it becomes. 24k is just too soft to wear..I just know that when I visit really nice jewelry stores they are either 18k or platinum..but I wouldn’t have a problem setting my diamond in 14k if it was going to get abuse or was hard on my jewelry..
Totally agree which is why 14K is a good option under certain (many) circumstances. But yes the higher the K the finer (more valuable) it is considered.
I prefer platinum for rings under most circumstances.
 

MamaBee

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
8,447
Totally agree which is why 14K is a good option under certain (many) circumstances. But yes the higher the K the finer (more valuable) it is considered.
I prefer platinum for rings under most circumstances.
I always had platinum but changed over to 18k white gold..My daughter in law and I were talking about it..and how platinum gets scratches and will dull (patina) so we decided to go with 18k white gold for all future purchases..I still chose platinum for my bigger studs..and for some bands..but I’m starting to incorporate the 18k white gold in engagement type rings... I also like the whiteness. I think with an OEC platinum would be the way to go but for MRB I think 18k white gold looks nicer..to me..
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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41,964
I always had platinum but changed over to 18k white gold..My daughter in law and I were talking about it..and how platinum gets scratches and will dull (patina) so we decided to go with 18k white gold for all future purchases..I still chose platinum for my bigger studs..and for some bands..but I’m starting to incorporate the 18k white gold in engagement type rings... I also like the whiteness. I think with an OEC platinum would be the way to go but for MRB I think 18k white gold looks nicer..to me..
For earrings I prefer white gold or yellow gold because of the weight issue.
 

MamaBee

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 31, 2018
Messages
8,447
For earrings I prefer white gold or yellow gold because of the weight issue.
So that’s why my 3.04ct platinum studs need that disk in the back to keep then upright! :lol-2:
 

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 23, 2017
Messages
2,506
Craftsmanship and material, but also price. I’m a broke college student so if it costs more than $200 it’s fine jewelry to me! :lol:
i hear that...i wasn't even thinking about jewelry in college...!

Question. I was brought up thinking anything less than 14K gold was not acceptable. And of course 18K is finer than 14K but it does depend on what one is using it for re durability issues etc.
What do you think? What K gold is acceptable for "Fine" jewelry?

Just googled it because I did not know the stats and here is the info re amounts of gold.

http://invoguejewelry.blogspot.com/2014/10/whats-percentage-of-gold-in-14k-10k-18k.html
i used to feel it had to be 18k or platinum ....but my thinking now is more like:

18k/plat + high quality precious gemstones = fine jewelry
14k + precious gemstones or high quality lab stone = could be fine jewelry
10k/9ct/silver/other + precious, semi-precious, or manmade stones = depends! if it's a special antique or artistic specimen, could be fine jewelry
 

AV_

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
Messages
3,889
Fashion is disposable; Fine - the opposite.

As the fine materials of jewelry are reusable, they may well enact fashion - & even how; as they are never boring, the form they take can be...

Thinking out laud
 

AV_

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
Messages
3,889
ctd. The other way around - wares that can be deployed like fine jewelry & are made of whatnot & have no price: I count them with the like of sculpture & drawing - also means of rendering junk beyond price. The finest of the Fine aspire to not be melt & recut - precisely the opposite imbalance of material versus make. (do not mind either)

Ending a long day
 

lilmosun

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 30, 2014
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1,751
When shopping, I think of fine jewelry as 14k+gold and platinum) and precious or semi-precious stones. I think of fashion as silver, lower gold content or base metals (incl plated or silver) and glass/simulants/"genuine stone" stuff. Added to this I think designer, custom or commercial.

As far as my personal collection - I just call it my "real" jewelry and my "costume" jewelry. I think of all my jewelry as fashion and none of it as truly being "fine". I don't own anything expensive (in PS terms) and I wear my pieces purely to accessorize whatever my outfit/mood.
 

bludiva

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 23, 2017
Messages
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When shopping, I think of fine jewelry as 14k+gold and platinum) and precious or semi-precious stones. I think of fashion as silver, lower gold content or base metals (incl plated or silver) and glass/simulants/"genuine stone" stuff. Added to this I think designer, custom or commercial.

As far as my personal collection - I just call it my "real" jewelry and my "costume" jewelry. I think of all my jewelry as fashion and none of it as truly being "fine". I don't own anything expensive (in PS terms) and I wear my pieces purely to accessorize whatever my outfit/mood.
It's weird, I think of only two of my personal items as "fine" my ER and pendant. Maybe because they'd be hardest to replace. The rest varies in quality but even the 14k+ / gemstone stuff I don't think of as anywhere near as precious and a lot of the time I'd just as soon wear a fashion piece depending on the outfit. :kiss2:
 

rockhoundofficiando

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
235
I view fine jewelry as either gold (14k minimum, usually 18k) or platinum with naturally occuring gemstones. Simulants, even in precious metal settings I see as costume only. Regarding lab created naturally occuring stones such as lab sapphires or lab diamonds I regard them much higher than costume, but see them more as (nicer) fashion jewelry rather than "fine" jewelry.
 

eapj

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 3, 2017
Messages
710
To me, fine jewelry is natural gemstones and precious metals. Someone mentioned Chanel, but even they have their own fine jewelry line and is distinguishable from their costume jewelry. I think Louis Vuitton makes fine jewelry, too? I don’t know as I haven’t bought LV in years, but I think they make watches.

Having said that, I’d hate to view my moissanites as costume jewelry. I know they’re stimulants but I like to set them in precious metals, and I don’t plan on replacing my current pieces with lab diamonds, which I also plan on purchasing once the prices go down.
I agree 100%. I actually love OEC cut moissanite and consider my stuff fine, at least for me.
 

MidModMin

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2017
Messages
70
Thinking about it in either/or terms sets up a false dichotomy, in my opinion. I think the interaction between both material and craftsmanship is what defines the jewelry.

Excellent artistry and craftsmanship can definitely elevate cheaper materials. Heck, maybe a jewelry piece, made by an excellent artist executing a conceptual design, must be made with cheaper materials, as it is the whole point of the concept.

But I'd be hard-pressed to describe platinum and diamonds wonkily put together by an amateur/broken machine/drunk jeweler/six-year-old/etc. as fine jewelry.

So, like others have said, I think it has to be both. It also varies culturally – 9-karat gold is not a thing in the U.S., but is in other countries. I just learned that 19-karat gold is a big thing in Canada – who knew?! Plus, styles, trends, what is valued as art, etc. varies in different places, so it's hard to say that it's either one or the other.
 
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